The Cumberland Plateau is a geological wonder known to geologists as the Appalachian Plateau. It rises over 1000 feet above every other region around it. The layers of limestone, shale, coal, and sandstone make up the mountain at 1,800 feet above sea level. From the earliest settlements of Cumberland County it was clear that these natural resources were the key to survival and building an industrious town.
The stock market crashed in October of 1929 and by 1933 Cumberland County was literally starving. During the Great Depression one in four workers were unemployed, farmer’s could not afford their land anymore, sharecroppers were evicted, and wages were slashed. There was a walkout at the Harriman Hosiery Mill, a strike at the mines in Wilder, and “impending civil war.” Residents were tired, hungry, fed-up, and feeling overlooked.